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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Pastoral Reflections

Perhaps you have heard the saying “God’s ways are not our ways,” in response to an unexplainable tragedy or a strange event. It originates in today’s First Reading. If you interpret this First Reading in light of the longer prophecy of which it is a part (55:1-13), the phrase “seek the Lord” is not about going to the Temple, but about seeing God’s abundant mercy in the events and world surrounding us, and recognizing that God, though utterly transcendent, desires always to be among us in the most intimate ways.

Actually, all three of this Sunday’s readings concern God’s radically generous ways that seem so inexplicable to humans—and how those ways impact our relationship with God and humanity. In the Second Reading, Paul is debating over what would be his better fate: to die as a martyr and enjoy perfect union with Jesus in God or to continue working among his small but growing church communities. Either way, he says, Christ is magnified in his body. Here Paul dismisses the usual human concern for preserving one’s life in the light of a higher spiritual reality.

Likewise, today’s Gospel presents us with a parable marked by the clash between the divine and human perspective. A landowner hires day laborers to work in his vineyard, promising to pay them a day’s wages. Some he hires early in the day, others at midday, and still others late in the day. When it comes time to pay the workers, everyone gets the same full day’s wage, and some of the workers complain vehemently. Really, who does that sort of thing! Their human understanding of fairness cannot fathom God’s radical generosity. Here’s one of those times when we should say, “God’s ways are not our ways.” At Home with the Word.

In His love and mine,

Fr. Ken

 

In the Spring of 1988, Bishop William D. Keeler formed a new parish to accommodate the rapid growth in Silver Spring Township and named Reverend James R. O’Brien as the founding pastor. That same year, Mother Katharine Drexel was beatified by Pope John Paul, II. Saint Katharine DrexelAt Bishop Keeler’s request, the Holy Father gave his permission to name the Parish in Silver Spring Township as the first parish in the world to be named in her honor. Eighteen years later, on October 1, 2000, Blessed Katharine Drexel was canonized and the church’s name changed to Saint Katharine Drexel.

The Saint Katharine Drexel Parish Family, guided by the Holy Spirit, commits itself to reaching out and sharing with all people the love and service modeled by our patroness, with the Eucharist as our source of strength. Through prayer and action, we will serve God, our Lord and Savior, and our community, exhibiting a special concern for the poor, oppressed and marginalized of our society, especially those among the African-American & Native-American peoples.

 

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